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Old 04-08-2018, 10:51 AM   #1
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Slowwww battery charge

Hi
I got my trailer out if storage yesterday. Checked batteries and they both needed water. Added distilled water and my monitor showed 28% charge...yikes. they are 2011 series batteries, so they are getting old. I have the trailer plugged into shore power. Overnightge increased to 39%. Then I reached under the bed and switched off the battery isolate. Now the readout shows 105%. When I disconnect from outside power the readout indicates 13.1 volts and 105% charge.

I'm baffled. Please help. Thanks
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:32 PM   #2
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If I recall properly, when you turn that isolator switch on, it eliminates any contact with the trailer, but solar will continue to charge the battery. So if you plug in, your on board converter will not charge unless you turn the switch to off and the battery is now part of the 12v on board system which is charged by the converter and solar.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:28 PM   #3
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To get a proper reading you need to disconnect from city power and let it sit for a day, then check again.

A hygrometer will tell you the condition of the cells better then reading the voltage.
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:27 PM   #4
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To get a proper reading you need to disconnect from city power...
Or flip the storage switch off, or just turn off the converter by flipping its circuit breaker off. And disconnect any solar charging system.

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A hygrometer will tell you the condition of the cells better then reading the voltage.
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:33 PM   #5
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If I recall properly, when you turn that isolator switch on, it eliminates any contact with the trailer, but solar will continue to charge the battery.
Good catch: if you have solar system, you will probably not get an accurate state of charge system unless you disconnect it (or wait or some time after dark).

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So if you plug in, your on board converter will not charge unless you turn the switch to off and the battery is now part of the 12v on board system which is charged by the converter and solar.
The labelling of this switch has been problematic. The switch needs to be in the position for using the trailer (connected, closed, "on" in normal use of the word) for battery power to get to the lights and appliances in the trailer, or for converter power to get to the battery.

These switches are typically labelled "Use/Store" or similar in many RVs, not "on/off", to reduce confusion. For the converter to charge the battery, the switch needs to be in the "Use" position.
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:39 PM   #6
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The labelling of this switch has been problematic.
You're right. And depending on how you store the trailer, the scenario changes. If uncovered and with solar, leave it off and you charge. If covered with no power, leave it off although you will get a bit of drain over time. If covered with an electrical hookup, as I have, leave it on and let the converter keep the batteries topped.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:41 PM   #7
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Thanks again for all your help. I bought a hydrometer and tested the batteries. Very low. Two dead cells. But the batteries were 7 years old. So I bought two new 6 volt golf cart batteries today that give me 210 amp hours. I have all LED lights and very limited power demands plus I have a 110 pv panel. So we'll see how it goes!
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:45 PM   #8
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That was my first instinct- buy two new 6'ers. Glad you didn't need to read 63 posts to do so
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:21 AM   #9
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That was my first instinct- buy two new 6'ers. Glad you didn't need to read 63 posts to do so
Thanks. We're headed your direction next week for our first real shakedown. From Humboldt to Sonoma, then Paso Robles, big sur, and Bodega Bay. I'm a transplant from Santa Barbara so I'm looking forward to seeing the Central coast again.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:03 AM   #10
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heh, love Arcata, my daughter is about to graduate HSU, and my son also went there, graduating about 4-5 years ago...
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The labeling of this switch has been problematic. The switch needs to be in the position for using the trailer (connected, closed, "on" in normal use of the word) for battery power to get to the lights and appliances in the trailer, or for converter power to get to the battery.

These switches are typically labelled "Use/Store" or similar in many RVs, not "on/off", to reduce confusion. For the converter to charge the battery, the switch needs to be in the "Use" position.
I fixed this with a couple of small p-touch labels: "12V POWER ON" and "12V POWER OFF"
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:04 AM   #12
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The labelling of this switch has been problematic.
I don't see the battery disconnect switch labelling as being a problem. It says something like "leave on except in storage". This is what I have always done and it has worked great for me. It does not describe in detail how the DC charging system works, but I imagine they were just trying to keep it as simple as possible.

The name "Battery Disconnect" in itself seems quite telling. The only anomaly I see is that if you have solar it does not get disconnected. Maybe the manual spells this out, though I doubt it covers every option? I am not sure, I don't think I have ever read the manual.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:16 AM   #13
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Just ran out and took a photo of the label for those that don't have one. I had planned to take mine off, but never got around to it. Can't see it very well anyway.

20180409_065718.jpg
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:31 AM   #14
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I don't see the battery disconnect switch labelling as being a problem. It says something like "leave on except in storage". This is what I have always done and it has worked great for me. It does not describe in detail how the DC charging system works, but I imagine they were just trying to keep it as simple as possible.

The name "Battery Disconnect" in itself seems quite telling. The only anomaly I see is that if you have solar it does not get disconnected. Maybe the manual spells this out, though I doubt it covers every option? I am not sure, I don't think I have ever read the manual.
Jim: I don't think early trailers had any labeling at the switch. The label you show is helpful. I think the confusion stems from no labeling and thinking about it as a disconnect and thinking that with the disconnect "on" then the power is off and then with the disconnect "off" means the power would be on. I even got confused writing it
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:47 AM   #15
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Jim: I don't think early trailers had any labeling at the switch. The label you show is helpful. I think the confusion stems from no labeling and thinking about it as a disconnect and thinking that with the disconnect "on" then the power is off and then with the disconnect "off" means the power would be on. I even got confused writing it
Earlier models definitely never had labeling. I have always assumed "Off" on a disconnect switch means opening the circuit, thus isolated. "On", circuit closed and energized.

When I used to do switching on the power grid, not using this logic would have certainty created issue.
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:29 AM   #16
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Thanks. We're headed your direction next week for our first real shakedown. From Humboldt to Sonoma, then Paso Robles, big sur, and Bodega Bay. I'm a transplant from Santa Barbara so I'm looking forward to seeing the Central coast again.
Good time of year to travel here; very green and it seems the stronger winds start later over the past several years.
FYI- cant get to Big Sur from the south still due to mudslide.
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:40 AM   #17
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I don't see the battery disconnect switch labelling as being a problem. It says something like "leave on except in storage". This is what I have always done and it has worked great for me.
Yep, that does work, unless you store where you have a power connection as I do. In such a case if you want your batteries to stay charged, the switch is left on.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:01 AM   #18
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Yep, that does work, unless you store where you have a power connection as I do. In such a case if you want your batteries to stay charged, the switch is left on.
This is a choice I would bet most everyone is smart enough to make. My trailer is stored connected to power in my drive, so I have the trailer plugged in, especially with the solar panels covered in snow.

I can just see the label Escape would have to make to cover every last possible scenario.

Does anyone know if the manual says much more?
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:02 AM   #19
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Good time of year to travel here; very green and it seems the stronger winds start later over the past several years.
FYI- cant get to Big Sur from the south still due to mudslide.
Yes...We're going to Kirk Creek, then back around to Bodega Bay....would love to drive Hwy1, but some other time.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:33 AM   #20
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Does anyone know if the manual says much more?
Interestingly I don't see any mention of the battery isolation switch in the manual.
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